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We continue here with a 4-part series covering the recently released “Auction Industry 2010” research project conducted by the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. This study was conducted by Dr. Forrest S. Carter, Associate Professor of Marketing and student researchers Marina Batchelor (lead), Kijun Yang, Sarah Andersen and Zoe Cai.

The study is broken into 3 basic parts, with a preface. I will also comment on some of the statistics presented.

Part II of the study concerned the auction business. A total of 1,972 respondents contributed to these statistics.

First, the typical auction business was profiled as such:

  • A primary auctioneer with 3 or more employees
  • Conducting a live auction approximately once per week
  • Generating < $25,000 in gross commissions from 5 different types of auctions
  • Specializing in estates/personal property/collectibles & antiques

Some other statistics:

Description of Auction Business

Contract Bid Caller 13%
Contract Bid Caller < 3 employees 2%
Contract Bid Caller => 3 employees 3%
Primary auctioneer < 3 employees 40%
Primary auctioneer => 3 employees 42%

Number of Auctions Conducted in 2009

53 or over 23%
25-52 21%
13-24 18%
7-12 15%
1-6 23%

How Auctions Conducted

Live 78%
Live w/ online simulcast bidding 15%
Online-only 6%
Other 1%

Type of Auction Specialty

Auction House/Gallery 5%
Business Liquidations 9%
Commercial Machinery/Equipment 5%
Farm Machinery and Equipment 8%
Estates and Personal Property 15%
Livestock 2%
Automobiles 5%
Art 3%
Collectibles and Antiques 13%
Benefit 10%
Farm/Land Real Estate 7%
Commercial Real Estate 6%
Residential Real Estate 11%
Other 2%

Does Business Have Website

Yes 76%
No 24%

Use of Social Media Tools

Yes 36%
No 64%

2009 Gross Commission Revenue

Less than $25,000 27%
$25,000 to $49,999 13%
$50,000 to $74,999 8%
$75,000 to $99,999 7%
$100,000 to $249,999 15%
$250,000 to $499,999 10%
$500,000 to $999,999 7%
$1 Million to $5 Million 9%
Over $5 Million 4%

There was one additional chart, and some other commentary in this section that was undecipherable, and thus omitted.

We will continue with one more article, Part III of the overall study, namely: about auctioneering.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.